Daffodil Flower History
Daffodil, or botanically Narcissus, is March's
celebrated flower. Daffodils
are the mark
of spring and usually known by
white or yellow petals surrounding
a yellow, pink or white center.
There are thousands of hybrid varieties
in as many combinations of colors
that also include orange or peach
and lime green blossoms of three to
four inches in diameter. Most
daffodil flowers are fragrant, and
some even appear in early winter.
Narcissus is named after the character from Greek mythology who was said to have been so in love with his own reflection that he was turned into a flower. It is said that these flowers appear to face downward because Narcissus refused to look up from his own image reflected in the stream where he became frozen and withered in time.
Consequently, daffodils are the foremost symbol of conceit and egotism. They have also come to mark formality, good fortune, chivalry and respect. Daffodils are the national flower of Wales and have become the stuff of legends, forever preserved in poems by William Wordsworth, Oscar Wilde, and other greats.
Daffodil bulbs are used extensively in landscaping
because they are quick to naturalize
and deter animal pests from more scrumptious
flowerbed or garden delicacies.
Bulbs and leaves produce toxic crystals
that rodents and deer don't like.
In fact, this poison will wilt other
flowers placed in display alongside
daffodils unless cut stems are treated
-- soaked in a separate container
for around six hours before the bouquet
is built. Florists
store daffodils in exclusive buckets
until needed, thereby "curing" the
Daffodil flowers are fairly simple to grow
and care for. After planting
bulbs in partial sun under a few inches
of soil, water them and feed with
a 5-10-10 fertilizer or composted
manure. Deadhead for continual
blossoms, and allow foliage to yellow
before cutting it back. This
will allow the daffodil bulb to refuel
for the next growing season, so you
can give your loved one a beautiful
birthday bouquet of daffodils
for years to come.